OrthoIllinois Spine Care: A regional destination center for spine care

OrthoIllinois Spine Care (formerly Rockford Orthopedic Spine Care) was founded by OrthoIllinois (formerly Rockford Orthopedics) to improve the care of back and neck pain for those in the Northern Illinois and Chicago region.

In 2013 Rockford Orthopedics merged with Crystal Lake Orthopedics which was based in the Chicago north suburb of Crystal Lake. The merged groups became OrthoIllinois on December 1, 2013..

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OrthoIllinois Spine Care also has an internal rehab gym with spine-trained therapists. The goal is to emphasize non-surgical treatment options as well as minimally invasive spine surgery capabilities to help the back or neck pain sufferer avoid the hassle and inconvenience of multiple referrals around town, delayed care, or fragmented and biased treatments.

By providing all these resources under one roof, the back and neck pain sufferer has convenient locations around Chicago and Northern Illinois for the most advanced non-surgical treatment options and minimally invasive spine surgery.

A nonsurgical approach to back and neck pain

What makes our spine center unique is its emphasis on a non-surgical approach to back and neck problems. OrthoIllinois Spine Care includes Dr. Ryan Enke who specialize in the non-surgical treatment of back and neck pain. PM&R physicians are often able to help many patients resolve their back or neck pain symptoms without the need for spine surgery.

However, sometimes, spine surgery may be unavoidable. This may occur because symptoms of radiating pain have not responded to non-surgical treatment options like injection therapy or customized spine physical therapy. In other cases, some symptoms like weakness or numbness in a leg or hand, or loss of control of bowel or bladder, represent emergency symptoms where back or neck surgery must be done quickly to prevent permanent paralysis of the nerves that relate to these muscles or extremities.

When spine surgery is necessary

If your back or neck problem requires surgery, Dr. Brian Braaksma is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon. Fellowship training is the highest level of medical education in the nation. OrthoIllinois Spine Care can address a wide variety of spine problems including herniated discs, spinal fractures, stenosis, degenerative disc disease and spinal tumor.

The overall goal of spine surgery at OrthoIllinois Spine Care is to perform the least invasive and least aggressive option to relieve symptoms.

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Pain relief through a focus on function

Pain is a signal from the body to the brain that something is wrong. Either the back is too weak, too inflexible, something lifted was too heavy or the wrong body mechanics were used. And, unfortunately, those doctors who focus exclusively on pain symptoms often recommend a course of treatment that is the exact opposite of what the individual needs to recover from the back problem.

Years ago, for example, doctors treated back pain with bed rest and heavy drugs to mask the discomfort. It was found, however, that this type of treatment was actually damaging to the back, because it caused muscles in the back to get weaker, in turn, causing more strain and pain. Patients became more dependent on drugs and grew more inactive and disabled.

In fact, pain relief actually can come through movement. Low-impact sports like walking and swimming are the best way to make the back feel better and stronger.

OrthoIllinois Spine Care uses written clinical protocols to improve care and reduce treatment variation — the essence of true quality management. This enables us to make sure the right thing is done at the right time, every time. This also makes sure that every nonsurgical option has been explored — such as therapy and injections — before spine surgery is considered.

While others talk about quality, we measure outcomes with patient severity data at intake and functional status post treatment. Lastly, we audit patient satisfaction so we can continually improve, because that's what quality is all about.

Within OrthoIllinois are joint replacement surgeons with extensive training and experience in joint replacement surgery of the hip, knee, shoulder, and elbow. The specialized joint replacement surgeons serve patients with hip and knee problems throughout Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and Eastern Ohio. Learn more about OrthoIllinois.